BOSTON (CBS) – This is the first Sunday since March that churches and other places of worship across Massachusetts can hold in-person services.
All churches can only operate at 40% capacity so people can maintain social distance and parishioners will also need to use masks and hand sanitizer.
There is no holy water as people enter the church and there is no singing.
The Archdiocese of Boston put out a video demonstrating the new safety protocols that will be in place.
St. John The Evangelist Church in Winthrop welcomed parishioners who were smiling underneath their face masks.
“You’re a sight for sore eyes its good to be back with the family,” Father Chris O’Connor said from the pulpit.
He said while things are far from normal, he brings good news to parishioners.
“This is the day the Lord has made. This is our Easter Sunday today really, in a way, because the life is back in our parish and we are so excited.”
This church, which normally seats about 750, was mostly empty. O’Connor said he was careful to follow the strict guidelines the archdiocese put out.
“We have the six feet social distancing so you see in the church tape everywhere,” he said. “I’ve had a lot of parishioners call and say ‘Father we are not ready to come back yet.’ And that’s perfectly okay too. We want people to feel safe, feel comfortable and full,” O’Connor said.
“I think the face masks being mandatory is a good move. I don’t know if it was necessary but better to do it than find out it should’ve been done,” parishioner Dave Hubbard said.
With new protocols in place, the pastor believes each week the attendance will grow as will their faith.